Argos stores in Camden High Street and Holloway Road now offer online shopping

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-8-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Local residents in Camden and Holloway can now take advantage of the speed and convenience of online shopping on their local high street, thanks to Argos which has given two of its stores in the area a ‘digital makeover’.

Located on Camden High Street and Holloway Road, the stores were selected from more than 700 Argos stores across the UK, and embrace online shopping while retaining the convenience of a physical store.

The revamped ‘paperless’ stores have a fresh and modern look, with tables of tablets replacing Argos’ traditional laminated catalogues, paper slips and pencils.  Customers can use the tablets to browse products to add to their digital shopping trolley, and access lots of extra information including extended ranges, videos, photography and customer reviews.

North London shoppers can take advantage of new services such as the ability to pay for goods online at home or on the move, for easy collection within seconds from a special Fast Track collection point in store.

Store staff have received special training to provide more help to customers on the shop floor using technology.  New digital display screens and complimentary WiFi complete the transformation.

Argos has been committed to serving customers in the Camden and Islington communities for more than 15 years, having opened both stores in 1997. Argos employs 60 workers in the Camden area and 52 in Holloway.

Research commissioned by Argos found that 71 per cent of London shoppers believe that the biggest benefit of online shopping is its convenience, although 65 per cent revealed that they still shop on the high street.1

Steve Barrett, Argos Area Manager for Camden and Holloway, said: “We’ve had a brilliant response from customers on the new look and setup of the stores. They really like the tablets and digital screens and can see the convenience of being able to pay online and collect products faster than ever.

“North London is an important area for us and it is really exciting for local customers that these stores have been selected to become a digital store.”

Argos found that the changing expectations of customers mean value for money is more important than ever, with 71 per cent of London shoppers saying they are savvier now than they were five years ago. In addition, 54 per cent admitted to checking the price of an item online before purchasing it.1

The new digital stores equip Argos for the online revolution, as shoppers increasingly browse and buy online via PCs, tablets and other mobile devices, while still wanting the immediacy of a local store to pick up their purchases. Around 44 per cent of Argos’ total sales now start online. Sales from mobile phones and tablets represent 18 per cent of the total sales.2

 

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors:

1Research conducted on behalf of Argos by Opinion Matters in July 2014.

2 Home Retail Group Annual Report 2014

For more information, please contact the Argos Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email: media.relations@argos.co.uk.  Follow us on Twitter at @argos_PR.

View details about Camden and Holloway Argos opening times here:

http://www.argos.co.uk/stores/Holloway

http://www.argos.co.uk/stores/Camden

 

About Argos
Argos is a leading UK digital retailer, offering around 43,000 products through http://www.argos.co.uk/, its growing mobile channels, stores and over the telephone.

Argos continues to be the UK’s largest high street retailer online with 738 million website and app visits in the 12 months to February 2014.  Argos serves around 123 million customers a year through its network of 734 stores.

In the financial year to February 2014, Argos sales were £4.1 billion and it employed some 29,000 people across the business.

Argos is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

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Argos stores in Camden High Street and Holloway Road now offer online shopping

Argos stores in Camden High Street and Holloway Road now offer online shopping

Kesko Group reports €797.1 million sales in July 2014

Kesko Group’s sales, excluding VAT, in July 2014 totalled €797.1 million, down 1.5%.

Helsinki, Finland, 2014-8-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — In Kesko’s food trade, sales in July were €375.1 million, an increase of 0.7% from the previous year.

In the home and speciality goods trade, sales in July were €103.4 million, a decrease of 5.7%. The sales performance was especially impacted by the decline in the sales of the department store trade. Online stores recorded sales growth.

In the building and home improvement trade, sales in July were €236.1 million, down 1.6%. In terms of local currencies, sales increased by 1.0%. Sales in Finland decreased by 3.4%. Sales abroad decreased by 0.4% in euros, but increased by 4.1% in local currencies.

In the car and machinery trade, sales in July were €92.9 million, a decrease of 5.9%. VV-Auto’s sales in July were €63.9 million, up 5.9%. Konekesko’s sales in July were €29.0 million, a decrease of 24.3% from the previous year.

Kesko Group sales in euros, excluding VAT, in July 2014:

July 2014 1.1. – 31.07.2014
€ million Change, % € million Change, %
Food trade, total 375.1 0.7 2,506.5 -1.0
Home and speciality goods trade, total 103.4 -5.7 708.2 -9.4
Building and home improvement trade, Finland 96.5 -3.4 737.8 1.2
Building and home improvement trade, other countries 139.6 -0.4 846.7 0.8
Building and home improvement trade, total 236.1 -1.6 1,584.4 1.0
Car and machinery trade, total 92.9 -5.9 662.0 0.2
Common operations and eliminations -10.4 -95.9
Grand total 797.1 -1.5 5,365.1 -1.5
Finland, total 631.4 -1.1 4,372.1 -2.4
Other countries, total 165.7 -2.9 993.0 2.4
Grand total 797.1 -1.5 5,365.1 -1.5

Change, % indicates the change over the corresponding period of the previous year.

In July 2014, the number of selling days in Kesko’s wholesale in Finland was 23, which was the same as in the previous year. The total number of selling days in January-July was one less than in the previous year. The number of retail selling days in July was 31, which was the same as in the previous year. The total number of retail selling days in January-July was the same as in the previous year.

Kesko releases advance information on the K-Group’s retail sales quarterly, in connection with interim reports.

Further information is available from Vice President, Group Controller Eva Kaukinen, tel. +358 105 322 338.

Kesko Corporation

Merja Haverinen
Vice President, Group Communications

DISTRIBUTION
NASDAQ OMX Helsinki
Main news media
www.kesko.fi

NACS: Consumer optimism plummeted in August, even as gas prices fell by more than 15 cents over the past month

​ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2014-8-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Just as quickly as consumer optimism surged in July, it plummeted in August, even as gas prices fell by more than 15 cents over the past month.

Less than 4 in 10 consumers (39%) now say that they are optimistic about the economy, a sharp decline from 46% the month prior. Consumers age 50 or more were least optimistic, with barely one in three (35%) expressing optimism. The 7-point drop overall in optimism was the largest recorded since January 2013 when the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) introduced its monthly NACS Consumer Fuels Survey to examine how gas prices affect consumer sentiment.

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80% of the gas sold in the country, conducts the monthly consumer sentiment survey to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. Since the monthly surveys began in January 2013, consumer sentiment has closely tracked gas prices, with optimism rising when prices fall and vice versa — except for a few notable exceptions like last fall’s 16-day government shutdown and this month’s stock market tumble.

“The dramatic swings in consumer optimism over the past two months clearly show that sentiment remains fragile,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS’ vice president of strategic industry initiatives. “A rise or fall in everyday expenses — like gas prices — is usually an accurate predictor of sentiment unless something significant occurs, and this month it is clear that the recent sharp drop in stock prices — and concerns over world events — shook up consumers.”

While other economic concerns today weigh more heavily on consumers, gas prices remain top of mind. Nearly four in 10 consumers (39%) say that gas prices have a great impact on their feelings about the economic, a slight decrease from 41% the month prior.

If there is any good news in the findings, it’s that consumers don’t expect things to necessarily get worse — at least at the gas pump. Consumers tend to be naturally pessimistic about gas prices but less than half (47%) expect prices to be higher next month, a low for 2014 and a sharp drop from July (64%).

The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) survey was conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC; 1,111 gas consumers were surveyed Aug. 5-7, 2014. The OPIS weekly national average price for gas was $3.508 on Aug. 4, the week in which the survey was fielded. Summary results are at www.nacsonline.com/gasprices.

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NACS Consumer optimism plummeted in August, even as gas prices fell by more than 15 cents over the past month

General Growth Properties, Inc. declares third quarter common stock dividend of $0.16 per share payable on October 31, 2014

Chicago, Illinois, 2014-8-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — General Growth Properties, Inc. (NYSE: GGP, the “Company”) today announced its Board of Directors declared a third quarter common stock dividend of $0.16 per share payable on October 31, 2014, to stockholders of record on October 15, 2014. The dividend represents an increase of $0.03 per share, or approximately 23%, from the third quarter 2013 common stock dividend.

The Board of Directors also declared a quarterly dividend on the 6.375% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock (NYSE: GGP PrA) of $0.3984 per share payable on October 1, 2014, to stockholders of record on September 15, 2014.

General Growth Properties, Inc.
General Growth Properties, Inc. is an S&P 500 company focused exclusively on owning, managing, leasing, and redeveloping high quality retail properties throughout the United States. GGP is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol GGP.

CONTACTS:

INVESTORS
Kevin Berry
(312) 960-5529

MEDIA
David Keating
(312) 960-6325

Target Canada unveils number of merchandise expansion including exclusive collaboration with Canadian celebrity designer Sarah Richardson

MISSISSAUGA, ON, 2014-8-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Target Canada today announced several initiatives to improve business performance and better deliver the Target brand experience to Canadian guests from coast to coast. The initiatives come on the heels of some leadership changes last spring and a comprehensive review of its Canadian operations.

Among the announcements, Target unveiled a number of merchandise initiatives, including a long-term partnership with celebrity designer Sarah Richardson, set to launch next year.

“We’ve been listening to our guests and taking a hard look at where we need to improve,” said Mark Schindele, president, Target Canada. “We’ve uncovered the root cause of some of our challenges and are focused on three main areas: improving in-stocks, sharpening our pricing strategy and enhancing our merchandise assortment.”

In addition to Schindele, John Butcher, senior vice president of merchandising, and Janna Adair-Potts, senior vice president of stores and distribution, recently joined an experienced guest-focused leadership team. Target’s search for a non-executive chair with deep Canadian experience is ongoing.

Merchandise Assortment

Target’s partnership with Sarah Richardson will bring her distinctive combination of colours and patterns to a new line of home décor beginning in Fall 2015, only at Target Canada.

“We are thrilled to be working with Sarah on this exclusive new home décor line,” said Butcher. “It’s exactly the kind of creative and exciting design offering that only Target can deliver.”

Richardson is one of the most well-known and trusted interior designers in Canada, and has been producing and hosting design shows for HGTV for 15 years. She specializes in creating interiors and programs that inspire, empower and educate a global audience with smart, savvy solutions for modern living.

Target Canada also announced a number of additional merchandise improvements, responding to guest reaction and requests, including:

  • Partnering with Roots to extend the exclusive and popular Beaver Canoe assortment, with expanded home décor, and the addition of new apparel like sleepwear and slippers coming this fall.
  • In Apparel, expanding the maternity assortment by 50 per cent in September.  In addition, Nick & Nora, the popular U.S. women’s fashion line, will be available in Target Canada stores next year. The previously announced Altuzarra for Target designer collaboration launches September 14. Also, early next year a plus size line will be introduced.
  • Expanded cosmetic lineups, through an exclusive partnership with e.l.f. and the addition of an “e.l.f. essential” line, as well as tripling the space allotted for the popular NYX line in October.
  • In September, Target Canada is launching an exclusive brand of household cleaners called Better Life, as well as the exclusive eco-friendly line Ecover from Europe.
  • In Home, the launch of the exclusive line of appliances called French Bull, which will bring exciting colour and design to everyday appliances at a great price. In addition, this fall Target Canada will also be bringing to stores an exciting new range of well-known small appliance brands some of which have been previously unavailable in mass retail.
  • Overall, between now and Christmas, Target will be bringing more than 30,000 new items to its assortment, from the upcoming Halloween and Holiday assortments, to Fall apparel.

Pricing

In response to guest feedback, Target Canada announced a new price match policy, which includes:

  • Price matching for any local competitor’s flyer or weekly ad (print or online), and price matching for select online retailers, including Amazon.ca, Walmart.ca, Bestbuy.ca, Toysrus.ca, Babiesrus.ca, CanadianTire.ca, Futureshop.ca and Sears.ca.
  • Guests can now use popular apps, such as reebee and flipp to price match, instead of bringing a printed flyer.
  • Price match can now be completed at the register instead of guest service.

Target Canada has also added about 1,000 additional items to its roster of 20,000 items that are regularly shopped, to compare prices with its largest competitors.

“If we see a like item priced higher at Target, we’ll lower it,” said Schindele. “And with the addition of our price match guarantee, and 5 per cent off every purchase with a REDcard, guests should be confident they’re getting the best price at Target.”

Supply chain

Target Canada has undertaken a variety of initiatives to address in-stock issues, including:

  • A physical count of inventory at all stores, resulting in a reset of systems, and more accurate ordering and shipping data.
  • Better forecasting and allocation of product based on sales history and promotional plans to ensure the right amount of product is in the right place at the right time.
  • Adjusting delivery schedules so stores receive merchandise more frequently.
  • Providing new training and processes to headquarters and in-store teams to create good routines and engaging store team members.

“We know we still have work to do, but the entire Target team is focused on continuous improvement so that Canadian guests will have the Target experience they deserve,” Schindele said.

About Target

Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,925 stores – 1,795 in the United States and 130 in Canada – and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 per cent of its profit to communities, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information, visit Target.com/Pressroom. For a behind-the-scenes look at Target, visit ABullseyeView.com or follow @TargetNews on Twitter.

IDC and Wincor Nixdorf welcome branch managers to participate in expert dialogue on branch transformation on September 15, 2014

Paderborn, Germany, 2014-8-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — The digital revolution is having a transformative effect on retail banks and particularly their branch operations. Market research firm IDC and IT solutions provider Wincor Nixdorf will focus on key issues related to the transformation of the branch network in an engaging and informative webinar on September 15, 2014.

For the webinar, Wincor Nixdorf has commissioned IDC to produce the white paper “End-to-End Benefits of a Transformed Branch Network.”

From its research, IDC concludes that the most successful financial institutions in the next decade will be those operating with a combination of physical operations, such as the branch, ATM, contact center, and digital operations, including online and mobile to meet the needs of customers.

Specifically, when it comes to the branch, the market research firm sees an urgent need for financial institutions to move with the times and make fundamental improvements to their branch formats, locations, operational efficiency, services offered and customer access. If in the past they typically created an estate based largely on full-service branches (with the occasional flagship or concept outlet added for good measure), in the future they will require a far wider range of different branch formats depending on their overall branch network strategies.

These strategies, however, will raise numerous questions, which the financial institutions will need to answer to move ahead. Among them: What will the new formats look like? What technologies are contained within them? What tangible and intangible benefits can they deliver? How can institutions extract the most value from their investments? And when should they take action?

The branch transformation webinar, jointly hosted by IDC and Wincor Nixdorf, will look at these and other questions and discuss a wide range of branch-related issues in an open dialogue with two industry experts: Alex Kwiatkowski, Research Director and Head of the IDC Financial Insights team in Europe, will present IDC’s perspective on current drivers, enablers and the likely future direction which the market will take. Jordi Perez, Head of Branch Network Transformation at Wincor Nixdorf, will provide a view through the lens of a specialist provider of hardware, software and services targeted at the retail banking community.

The webinar is designed to help retail bank branch managers and others:

-gain an in-depth understanding of why the branch will remain a key component in an omni-channel strategy;
-discover the different types of branch formats they can implement to deliver a superior level of service – and satisfaction – to their customers;
-learn about the new self-service and agent-assisted technologies that deliver enhanced efficiency and a markedly improved overall user experience; and
-give a set of recommendations for the critical “next steps”.

Interested parties can register for the webinar here.

The whitepaper “End-to-End Benefits of a Transformed Branch Network” can be downloaded here.

Foodstuffs North Island Managing Director Murray Jordan to leave the business mid-2015 to pursue professional board appointments

North Island, New Zealand, 2014-8-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Foodstuffs North Island (FSNI) Managing Director, Murray Jordan, has notified the Board of his intention to leave the business mid-2015 to pursue professional board appointments.

Announcing Mr Jordan’s decision, FSNI Chairman Peter Anderson praised Mr Jordan for his “stellar role” in merging the two former North Island Foodstuffs co-operatives – Foodstuffs (Auckland) Ltd and Foodstuffs (Wellington) Co-operative Society Ltd to form Foodstuffs North Island Ltd in 2013.

“During a time of massive change, Foodstuffs North Island increased sales growth and market share which is testament to Murray’s leadership.”

Mr Anderson says the merger is on track and will be largely complete in 2015 as planned.

“Murray has set the platform for the next stage of the company’s transformation and is committed to a smooth leadership transition so that the momentum can continue,” says Mr Anderson.

“The Board will be conducting a comprehensive search for his replacement and will ensure that the transition is seamless. It’s about finding the right person and implementing a succession plan in conjunction with Murray.”

Mr Jordan says he is proud of the company, the people and is excited about the future for Foodstuffs.

“I am personally an advocate for renewal of people in top positions and next year represents a natural point in time for the next leader to take up the baton and for me to take on new challenges,” says Mr Jordan.

“It’s a privilege to lead an iconic, wholly-owned New Zealand company like Foodstuffs and the Board knows I am available to the company until it regards the leadership transition is in place.”

Murray Jordan has worked for Foodstuffs for almost 11 years, initially as General Manager of Property, Foodstuffs Auckland. He was appointed Managing Director Designate Foodstuffs Auckland in early 2010, working closely with the previous MD Tony Carter through a transition pathway until Mr Carter’s departure from the company late 2010. In February 2013 he was appointed Managing Director Designate of Foodstuffs North Island which became effective following a unanimous vote by the owner-operators of both co-operatives approving the merger.

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Defense Commissary Agency CEO Joseph H. Jeu announced changes in four senior leadership positions within the Sales, Marketing & Policy Group

FORT LEE, Va., 2014-8-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Defense Commissary Agency Director and Chief Executive Officer Joseph H. Jeu announced changes in four senior leadership positions within the Sales, Marketing & Policy Group. Changes take effect Aug. 10.

Randall L. “Randy” Chandler, currently director of sales, will become director of operations and policy, a position currently held by Delbert L. “Del” Myrick. Myrick will take over as director of business development, currently led by Gordon J. Jones. Jones will become deputy director of sales, vice Traci L. Russ, who will now serve as director of sales.

“It’s important we nurture our ‘brain trust’ and develop crossover expertise throughout our organization, but especially at the top,” said Jeu. “We must sustain our forward momentum in these days of rapid change and dynamic projects in sales, store formats, category management, customer insights and more. These position exchanges will enrich each individual’s experience and talents and strengthen our team overall.”

Chandler, new director of operations and policy, has served as sales director since July 2013. He is noted as being one of the early founders of the agency’s marketing business unit.

Chandler’s commissary career began in 1979 with the Marine Corps Commissary System. Eventually, Chandler would become store director of the Hadnot Point Commissary at Camp Lejeune, N.C., before becoming a Marine Corps representative to the DeCA Transition Team that helped merged four military commissaries into one agency in 1991. He left government service to work for industry, returning in 2005 after seven years to become store administrator at Charleston Air Force Base Commissary, S.C.

Myrick, new director of business development, has served as director of operations and policy since 2011. He was previously chief of enterprise business solutions in the information technology directorate, director of operations for DeCA’s then East Region and other headquarters-level positions. From 2001 to 2004, he was store director for Fort Myer Commissary, Va.; and 1996-2001, Zone 24 Manager at Fort Belvoir Commissary, Va.

Myrick started his commissary career in 1984 as a produce manager at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., and went on to various management positions at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.; Lowry Air Force Base, Colo.; March Air Reserve Base; and commissaries in England and Germany.

Russ, the new director of sales, has served as the deputy sales director since July 2013.  She was previously director of the Business Development Directorate that focuses on E/M-commerce and shopper insight initiatives. She served from 2008 as executive officer to DeCA’s deputy director.

Russ began her commissary career in 1985 as a part-time sales store checker. In 1991, she entered the commissary career program as a grocery department manager. She has subsequently served in various positions within the commissary system, including many projects at headquarters and region level, and tours as store director at Menwith Hill, England, from 1998 to 2000; store administrator at Mannheim, Germany, from 2000 to 2001; and store director at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., from 2001 to 2003.

Gordon Jones, new deputy director of sales, has served as director of business development since August 2013. He was chief of the E/M-commerce division after serving as a supervisory business analyst from 2011 to 2012 in the now-defunct requirements and strategic integration directorate.

Jones began his commissary career in 1984, holding a variety of field positions ranging from store director at Altus Air Force Base, Okla., to zone manager in Würzburg, Germany. His headquarters-level assignments include a tour as a supervisory commissary management specialist and chief of the perishable markets division of the Marketing Business Unit. He is a retired Navy Reserve commander who served as a logistics officer in Baghdad, Iraq, from March 2006 through March 2007.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5–percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

Walgreens and Alliance Boots merge to create the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise

Nottingham, 2014-8-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Alliance Boots is delighted that Walgreens has exercised its option to complete the second step of its strategic transaction with Alliance Boots. The new company will be the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. The combined enterprise will be named Walgreens Boots Alliance and headquartered in the Chicago area. Boots will continue to be headquartered in Nottingham and the current support offices of Alliance Healthcare will remain across Europe.

The transaction is expected to complete in the first quarter of calendar 2015, subject to shareholder and various regulatory approvals.

Walgreens Boots Alliance will consist of four Divisions: Walgreen Co. (the largest drugstore chain in the US); Boots (the UK and Republic of Ireland’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer); Pharmaceutical Wholesale and International Retail (including Alliance Healthcare, Europe’s largest pharmaceutical wholesaler); and Global Brands.

The management team of the combined enterprise will comprise senior executives from both companies, led by Greg Wasson as President and CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance. Stefano Pessina will be Executive Vice Chairman, responsible for strategy and M&A, and Chairman of a new strategy committee of the Board of Directors. In addition, the following appointments have been announced:

  • Ornella Barra, Chief Executive, Wholesale and Brands of Alliance Boots, will become Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President and Chief Executive of Global Wholesale and International Retail.
  • Jeff Berkowitz, President of Walgreens Boots Alliance Development GmbH, will serve as Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President of Pharma and Global Market Access, which will include responsibility for specialty pharmacy.
  • Alex Gourlay, Walgreens President of Customer Experience and Daily Living, will become Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President of Walgreens.
  • Tim McLevish, previously announced as Walgreens Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will serve in that role in a global capacity for Walgreens Boots Alliance.
  • Ken Murphy, Managing Director, Health & Beauty International and Brands of Alliance Boots, will serve as Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President of Global Brands.
  • Simon Roberts, Managing Director, Health & Beauty, UK and the Republic of Ireland of Alliance Boots, will serve as Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President of Boots.
  • Tom Sabatino, Walgreens Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, will serve as Executive Vice President and Global Chief Legal and Administrative Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance.
  • Tim Theriault, Chief Information, Innovation and Improvement Officer at Walgreens, will assume the role of Executive Vice President and Global Chief Information Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance.
  • Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, Walgreens Chief Human Resources Officer, will become Executive Vice President and Global Chief Human Resources Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Other members of the Alliance Boots senior executive management team will fulfil a variety of key roles within Walgreens Boots Alliance, including Marco Pagni, Group Legal Counsel & Chief Administrative Officer of Alliance Boots, who will work with Stefano Pessina on strategy and M&A. Further information on this role and the broader management team will be communicated in due course.

Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman, Alliance Boots, commented: “The expected creation of the new enterprise will represent the most significant milestone in the history of our Group and, importantly, a very positive step for the future of the healthcare industry as a whole. Together with Walgreens, we have already made good progress over the past two years and I strongly believe that the merger will bring significant growth opportunities for both mature and emerging markets. Today’s announcement reflects the great track record and accomplishments of our people to date and I am convinced that their skills, expertise and commitment will continue to make a positive contribution in the years to come. This combination is a true partnership, further evidenced by the composition of the future management team of Walgreens Boots Alliance.”

Greg Wasson, President and CEO, Walgreens, added: “We are excited to move forward with the next important step in becoming a new kind of global healthcare leader. Expanding globally with Alliance Boots will make quality healthcare more affordable and accessible to communities here in America and around the world. In addition, Stefano and I are pleased with the comprehensive plan we have announced today as part of Step 2. These elements will provide additional shareholder value creation, both in the near and long term. I congratulate our teams for getting us to this point and together we have a bright future.”

The Walgreens Boots Alliance merger combines two leading companies with iconic brands, complementary geographic footprints, shared values and a heritage of trusted healthcare services through pharmaceutical wholesaling and community pharmacy care, dating back more than 100 years each. Combining the companies will create a new global leader in pharmacy-led health and wellbeing retail with more than 11,000* stores in 10* countries and an unparalleled portfolio of retail and business brands, as well as increasingly global health and beauty product brands.

The full combination also will establish the world’s largest pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution network with more than 370* distribution centres delivering to more than 180,000* pharmacies, doctors, health centres and hospitals in 20* countries. Walgreens Boots Alliance will be the world’s largest purchaser of prescription drugs and many other health and wellbeing products. The combined size, scale and expertise will help Walgreens and Alliance Boots expand the supply, and address the rising cost, of prescription drugs in America and worldwide.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

* Figures include Alliance Boots associates and joint ventures.

About Alliance Boots
Alliance Boots is a leading international pharmacy-led health and beauty group delivering a range of products and services to customers. Working in close partnership with manufacturers and pharmacists, we are committed to improving health in the local communities we serve and helping our customers and patients to look and feel their best. Our focus is on growing our two core business activities of: pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing and pharmaceutical wholesaling and distribution, while increasingly developing and internationalising our product brands.

Alliance Boots has a presence in more than 25* countries and employs over 108,000* people. We have pharmacy-led health and beauty retail businesses in nine countries and operate more than 3,150 health and beauty retail stores, of which just under 3,050 have a pharmacy, with a fast growing online presence. In addition, Boots Opticians is one of the leaders in the UK optical market with around 600 practices, of which around 180 operate on a franchise basis, and we have a leading position in the UK hearingcare market through our associate, Boots Hearingcare, which operates in around 430 locations across the UK. Our pharmaceutical wholesale businesses supply medicines, other healthcare products and related services to more than 180,000 pharmacies, doctors, health centres and hospitals from more than 370 distribution centres in 20 countries.

In June 2012, Alliance Boots announced that it had entered into a strategic partnership with Walgreen Co., the largest drugstore chain in the US, to create the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise.

* Figures are approximations as at 31 March 2014 and include associates and joint ventures.

For further information, please contact:

Media relations:

Yves Romestan/Laura Vergani/Katie Johnson/Julie Longton, Alliance Boots: +44 (0)207 980 8585
James Murgatroyd/Claire Scicluna, RLM Finsbury (UK): +44 (0)207 251 3801
Kal Goldberg/Kyle Giunta, RLM Finsbury (US): +1 646 805 2000

Investor relations:

Gerald Gradwell, Alliance Boots: +44 (0)207 980 8527 (UK)/+1 646 688 1336 (US)